Back in 1968, when the rest of the country was bopping to The Beatles or settling down to the brand-new BBC sitcom Dad’s Army, Cecil Jackson-Cole was a man on a mission. He was planting the seeds which would grow into England’s largest not-for-profit provider of care and housing for older people.

It was 50 years ago that Cecil Jackson-Cole created Help the Aged (Oxford) Housing Association, as we were then called. And I’m delighted to kick off our anniversary year with a film that reveals fascinating insights into someone we all owe a real debt of gratitude to.

Thanks to Cecil’s early work, we opened our first retirement housing schemes in 1970. We adopted the name Anchor in 1975 and opened our first care home seven years later. 

Over the years the organisation has grown and evolved. Today, we provide services to older people from 1,000 locations across England and I hope that as many colleagues and customers as possible join in the celebrations during our birthday year.


We’re planning a host of activities with a 50th anniversary theme, starting with the world premiere of the film about our history that you can view above.

I’m a big history buff so I’m looking forward to ploughing through the history books I got for Christmas. “If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday,” goes the saying. Never is that more true than in Anchor, where change and evolution has been part of life since day one.

We’ve changed enormously in 50 years - and will continue to do so as that is what makes us strong. What won’t change in our future however is our commitment to older people.

So I hope you enjoy this film, and the year of celebrations to come for Anchor in 2018.

Happy New Year – and happy anniversary!

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